State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
BySenate Local Government (originally sponsored by Senators Short and Wilson, L.)
AN ACT Relating to agency obligations; and amending RCW 36.70A.190 and 36.70A.050.
Sec. 1. RCW 36.70A.190 and 1991 sp.s. c 32 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The department shall establish a program of technical and financial assistance and incentives to counties and cities to encourage and facilitate the adoption and implementation of comprehensive plans and development regulations throughout the state.
(2) The department shall develop a priority list and establish funding levels for planning and technical assistance grants both for counties and cities that plan under RCW 36.70A.040. Priority for assistance shall be based on a county's or city's population growth rates, commercial and industrial development rates, the existence and quality of a comprehensive plan and development regulations, and other relevant factors.
(3) The department shall develop and administer a grant program to provide direct financial assistance to counties and cities for the preparation of comprehensive plans under this chapter. The department may establish provisions for county and city matching funds to conduct activities under this subsection. Grants may be expended for any purpose directly related to the preparation of a county or city comprehensive plan as the county or city and the department may agree, including, without limitation, the conducting of surveys, inventories and other data gathering and management activities, the retention of planning consultants, contracts with regional councils for planning and related services, and other related purposes.
(4) The department shall establish a program of technical assistance:
(a) Utilizing department staff, the staff of other state agencies, and the technical resources of counties and cities to help in the development of comprehensive plans required under this chapter.
(i) The technical assistance may include, but not be limited to, model land use ordinances, regional education and training programs, and information for local and regional inventories((; and)).
(ii) Any technical assistance or guidance provided by the department or any other state agency must include a section analyzing the effects of implementation, including potential losses to the current or future built environment.
(b) Adopting by rule procedural criteria to assist counties and cities in adopting comprehensive plans and development regulations that meet the goals and requirements of this chapter. These criteria shall reflect regional and local variations and the diversity that exists among different counties and cities that plan under this chapter.
(5) The department shall provide mediation services to resolve disputes between counties and cities regarding, among other things, coordination of regional issues and designation of urban growth areas.
(6) The department shall provide planning grants to enhance citizen participation under RCW 36.70A.140.
Sec. 2. RCW 36.70A.050 and 1990 1st ex.s. c 17 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Subject to the definitions provided in RCW 36.70A.030, the department shall adopt guidelines, under chapter 34.05 RCW, no later than September 1, 1990, to guide the classification of: (a) Agricultural lands; (b) forestlands; (c) mineral resource lands; and (d) critical areas. The department shall consult with the department of agriculture regarding guidelines for agricultural lands, the department of natural resources regarding forestlands and mineral resource lands, and the department of ecology regarding critical areas. Guidelines developed in accordance with this section must include an analyses of the effect of the guidelines on lands within the city or county, including potential losses to the current or future built environment.
(2) In carrying out its duties under this section, the department shall consult with interested parties, including but not limited to: (a) Representatives of cities; (b) representatives of counties; (c) representatives of developers; (d) representatives of builders; (e) representatives of owners of agricultural lands, forestlands, and mining lands; (f) representatives of local economic development officials; (g) representatives of environmental organizations; (h) representatives of special districts; (i) representatives of the governor's office and federal and state agencies; and (j) representatives of Indian tribes. In addition to the consultation required under this subsection, the department shall conduct public hearings in the various regions of the state. The department shall consider the public input obtained at such public hearings when adopting the guidelines.
(3) The guidelines under subsection (1) of this section shall be minimum guidelines that apply to all jurisdictions, but also shall allow for regional differences that exist in Washington state. The intent of these guidelines is to assist counties and cities in designating the classification of agricultural lands, forestlands, mineral resource lands, and critical areas under RCW 36.70A.170.
(4) The guidelines established by the department under this section regarding classification of forestlands shall not be inconsistent with guidelines adopted by the department of natural resources.
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